I recently read Colin Duriez’s biography of Francis Schaeffer (Francis Schaeffer: An Authenitc Life). In the preface he states that his biography is the first comprehension survey of Schaeffer’s life. Providentially, it was published last year, just as I planned to explore the works of Schaeffer.
Many Christians I have spoken with have never heard of Schaeffer; I find this fact bewildering. Granted, I first heard of Schaeffer when I was 18 years old, but it wasn’t until years later that I heard more about Schaeffer during an Apologetics course. The appearance of Duriez’s book is timely, then, in reviving interest in the contributions and thought of Francis Schaeffer. Duriez is already well known among Tolkien and C.S. Lewis fans. Duriez’s biography of Schaeffer will no doubt segue the 21st century reader to Schaeffer’s works, especially for those readers already familiar with Duriez’s contributions on Lewis and Tolkien. There is a need to bridge the gap for many Christians who have not read or heard about Schaeffer. His insights on the state of the world at the end of the 20th century is even more relevant today, as much of his “prophesies” about the coming decline of Western civilization is a striking reality in the 21st century.
His name was first mentioned to me by a Youth Pastor, Calvin Russell, who was giving me some tips on an up-and-coming backpacking tour of Europe I was planning for the fall of 1994. Russell recommended that I stop by L’Abri in Switzerland. As it turned out, I only made it to Geneva during my three month, eleven country tour of the old country. For whatever reason, the Lord did not lead me to L’Abri that year. Now, fifteen years later, I am encountering Schaeffer. The timing couldn’t be better.
I am currently reading True Spirituality. I hope to post a little about Duriez’s biography on Schaeffer and explain why I am starting with True Spirituality.